Last week I wrote a post and described what my afternoons are like on the weekdays, and someone commented asking when we eat dinner and then said something along the lines of that sounds exhausting.
My afternoons are definitely exhausting. As soon as Number 3 gets home, I have to get him to swim practice at 3:45 and then I coach every day from about 4:30 – 7:30, and on most of those days I have to take all the kids with me.
By the time we get home we quickly eat dinner and then we start the process of getting everyone into bed.
Sometimes that goes smoothly. Other times, it can be a battle with the younger ones.
So weeknights are tough.
But Saturdays are no different!
Yesterday (Saturday), I dropped Number 2 and 3 off at the Y at 8 a.m. for work and swim practice.
At 9:30 I picked up Number 3 and dropped off Number 4 for her swim practice.
At 11:00 I picked up Number 4 from practice, ran to Costco with Numbers 4, 5, 6, and 7, and then went back to the Y at noon to pick up Number 2.
We stopped at home, unloaded the stuff from Costco, ate something really quickly, and then got back in the car and drove 25 minutes to Number 3’s baseball game. (He got a ride to the game with another kid on the team).
At 2:45 I left the game early (my husband got up there after work about half way through the game) with Number 4 (who was so exhausted she couldn’t even handle sitting at the baseball game) and Number 7, who had a birthday party from 3:00 – 5:00.
We stopped at home to drop Number 4 off, change Number 7’s shirt and grab the gift for her friend, and as we pulled into the driveway, the ice cream I had bought for her at Costco (that unbeknownst to me she didn’t finish and had left in the back cup holder) tipped over and spilled EVERYWHERE.
All over her blankie and her clothes and the seat and the rug.
So then I had to clean up a shit ton of melted chocolate ice cream from the back while she had a feral child meltdown over her dirty blankie and the fact that she couldn’t take it with her to the party.
We got to the party thirty-five minutes late, but by then she had rallied.
We got home a 5:15.
And then it was time to make dinner and begin the bedtime routine.
So the weekends are no better than the weekdays.
Today, Sunday, the only thing we had on the schedule was a baseball game at 1:15.
The kids would be able to sleep in and chill out and decompress. I was especially thankful that Number 4 had nothing to do.
She could relax and rest. She just started middle school this year, and I have to wake her up around 6:45, and I think the earlier wake up times combined with everything else started to catch up with her.
Fast forward to this morning.
As usual, Number 6 was up around 6:30, and the rest of them were up by 7:30.
So much for them sleeping in.
By 9:00, they were just about beating the shit out of each other, and when I said to Number 4, “That doesn’t look like very much fun,” she looked at me and yelled,
“IT’S NOT, MOM! I WANT TO DO SOMETHING! I WANT TO GO SOMEWHERE!!!”
What. The fuck.
Eighteen hours earlier she was so exhausted she couldn’t even drag her butt out of the car to watch her brother’s baseball game, and now, when given the opportunity to just chill out, she was losing her shit!
My kids do not know how to handle down time.
That’s not good!
The other night I was out with some mom friends, and we were talking about how our kids have so much difficulty just sitting. How when we were kids we used to ride in the car and just stare out the window and how that has become basically the same thing as child abuse.
At least as far as the kids are concerned.
And I’m not even that bad about that stuff.
We don’t watch TV during the week, the kids can’t use their electronics during the week, and we don’t use the DVD player in the car unless we are taking a pretty long trip somewhere.
But my kids still seem to need constant stimulation!
I have to be part of this problem.
I mean, I’m sure it’s societal, but my kids need to learn how to handle having unscheduled, unstructured, unstimulated periods of time every day.
It’s not healthy to not be able to just sit with yourself and your thoughts for even a short length of time. That leads to trouble.
So I don’t know e xaclty what it is I’m going to do.
But I know I have to do something.
Because at this rate, if my kids don’t learn how to slow down and handle some quiet, they’re not gonna make it to thirty years old.
And that’s not good.